Badger Mountain Road Killing Suspect To Get Competency Evaluation
The man accused of killing his former girlfriend on Badger Mountain Road in Douglas County spoke out several times at his hearing Tuesday, after previously refusing to answer questions in three previous appearances.
Dalton Potter, 27, first reiterated a previous statement that he was there against his will, before complaining about his court appointed defense attorney.
"Your honor, I didn't ask for this guy to represent me," said Potter. "And I have no idea who he is."
In another sequence, Potter asked if he could represent himself before he further lashed out at the process.
"I have been misrepresented from the moment that I have entered this county jail, is what I'd like to say," Potter said before being instructed by the presiding court commissioner to refrain from speaking out of turn for the fourth time.
Tuesday's hearing was held for the purpose of determining whether Potter would undergo a competency hearing.
His court appointed defense attorney, Jessy Collins, had expressed frustration with an inability to communicate with Potter and filed for the examination last week.
The Prosecution then filed a motion to block the examination, saying there was insufficient basis to doubt Potter's competence.
On Tuesday, Prosecutor Gordon Edgar argued that Potter likely understood his rights and options because he reportedly questioned whether his arresting deputies were real police, and inquired about their jurisdiction.
Presiding court commissioner Phil Safar rejected the argument, saying Potter's rationality could be called into question by his behavior. He also said the court had the discretion to order a competency evaluation in any case in which the defendant is charged with first- or second-degree murder (Potter faces first degree murder charges).
Safar granted the request for a competency evaluation.
A specialist from Eastern State Hospital will be called to in to conduct the evaluation at the Chelan County jail, where Potter is now being held. Safar decided not to have Potter sent to the hospital itself in the interest of saving time.
Safar himself replaced another court commissioner who presided over Potter's previous hearing. Original court commissioner Steve Clem recused himself from the case after defense attorney Collins moved to have him disqualified because Clem previously was involved in a domestic violence case against Potter as a prosecutor.
Court commissioners have presided over Potter's case since Douglas County Superior Court Judge Brian Huber was disqualified from the case after the first hearing last month, a move made by the prosecution.
Safar set Potter's next hearing for Feb. 28.
Potter is charged with first degree murder after being accused of shooting and killing 37-year-old Alyssa Longwell along a rural stretch of Badger Mountain Road on January 21. He also faces two counts of attempted first degree murder for allegedly shooting at witnesses to the killing.